Author Topic: UK Schools fail pupils in RE teaching  (Read 488 times)

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Offline Mrjason

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UK Schools fail pupils in RE teaching
« on: October 07, 2013, 05:02:01 AM »
Although a core subject for 14 - 16 year olds there still seems to be confusion as to what RE should entail.

As Stephen Evans of the National Secular Society says in the article, given too much freedom to interpret the curicclum Schools
Quote
with a religious character abuse the subject and use it for missionising

I think the start of the problem lies with the title of the subject, "Religiuos Education" seems to me to give a bias to a subject that should really, IMO, encumpass all world views allowing for the youngster to make up their own mind.

Perhaps calling it "woldview Education" or "Human Anthropology Studies" would be a start to making a core topic more secular and less biased toward organised religion.
 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-24399813

Offline Traveler

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Re: UK Schools fail pupils in RE teaching
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2013, 08:53:18 AM »
In my high school I studied religion in a class called ... wait for it ... Mythology. I do vaguely recall that the teacher referred to the abrahamic god as a more mature concept than, say, the greco roman myths. I don't recall whether he went so far as to imply that the abrahamic concept was true.
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: UK Schools fail pupils in RE teaching
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2013, 09:53:20 AM »
At one school I went to, a priest was allowed free access to the school to tell each class about his god. When he came to my class, I was supposed to be having a French lesson. Other people would have had other subjects interrupted. The school was not connected to any church.

The religious lessons I had were only about Christianity and it was taught as if it were true. I was very angry about it at the time because I knew it was just the teacher's delusion. I could see that some of the students accepted what they were told. It was mostly the quiet students who accepted it especially the quiet ones of low intelligence.

Recently I came upon one of those nutty websites where some religious freak tells his followers that he has been called on by god to start a new church. I looked at the name of the person and I was surprised to find that it was one of the quiet boys from my class at school. All through school he had extra lessons because he could not read and write. Everyone should look carefully at the qualifications of any religious person.
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Online Nam

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Re: UK Schools fail pupils in RE teaching
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2013, 10:59:58 PM »
In my high school I studied religion in a class called ... wait for it ... Mythology. I do vaguely recall that the teacher referred to the abrahamic god as a more mature concept than, say, the greco roman myths. I don't recall whether he went so far as to imply that the abrahamic concept was true.

They didn't have a religion/mythology class at my high school. They were probably attempting to keep the violence to a minimum.

;)

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Offline wright

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Re: UK Schools fail pupils in RE teaching
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2013, 11:29:52 PM »
In my high school I studied religion in a class called ... wait for it ... Mythology. I do vaguely recall that the teacher referred to the abrahamic god as a more mature concept than, say, the greco roman myths. I don't recall whether he went so far as to imply that the abrahamic concept was true.

In my high school Mythology class I made what I thought was a very obvious comparison between Prometheus (who in classical Greek myth defied Zeus to help humanity) and Jesus. The instructor looked very uncomfortable, agreed it was an interesting similarity and promptly changed the subject, never to raise it again.

Looking back, I agree it was a poor analogy. Comparing Prometheus and Satan, however...
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Online Willie

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Re: UK Schools fail pupils in RE teaching
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2013, 01:10:18 AM »
The most overtly religious event I encountered in school was the Gideons handing out New Testament bibles in class when I was in fifth grade (around 1974). I still have it. Other than that incident, my public school experience was pretty cleanly secular. I never had a teacher try to proselytize, push creationism, or anything like that. I don't recall ever having a school led prayer. The nearest thing was the "moment of silence" that they had each morning at one of the Jr. High Schools that I went to. There was no compulsion to pray or anything else during that time, so it was pretty unobjectionable other than maybe being a waste of class time. It lasted about a minute. I'm not sure whether there were any religious plaques or banners in any of the schools I went to, as I don't think I would have noticed such things back then.

We hear about these kinds of incidents pretty often, and some of us have personally encountered them, and there may even be a few schools where it is a systemic problem rather than just isolated incidents or a lone rogue teacher. But I think that most U.S. public schools actually do a pretty good job of keeping church and state separate most of the time. Even in the right-leaning states where I went to school (Texas, Indiana, and Arizona).

Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: UK Schools fail pupils in RE teaching
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2013, 06:52:56 AM »

In my high school Mythology class I made what I thought was a very obvious comparison between Prometheus (who in classical Greek myth defied Zeus to help humanity) and Jesus. The instructor looked very uncomfortable, agreed it was an interesting similarity and promptly changed the subject, never to raise it again.


I seem to recall, probably in early high school, maybe even middle school,  learning the myth of Pandora. I do believe that the parallels to Eve,  of her being the first woman, molded out of clay, then going on to open a box, out of curiosity, and thus releasing all the evils of the world, were actually commented on by the teacher. If I remember right, the class dealt with how ancient Mythology came up with stories to explain creation and other phenomena, and didn't shy away from the fact that Old Testament tales were not exempt.

I think that in mid-1970's Connecticut, fundies were probably fairly thin on the ground anyway...it would still be years before I met my first one.

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Re: UK Schools fail pupils in RE teaching
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2013, 10:06:23 AM »
The only thing in my elementary and junior high we were forced to do (or be punished) was recite the pledge of allegiance. The only students who got out of that were exchange students. Lucky bastards.

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Offline Mrjason

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Re: UK Schools fail pupils in RE teaching
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2013, 10:13:58 AM »
 RE at secondary school for me was half an hour on wednesday afternoons.

We were told to get the bus to meet the teacher at various religious buildings round the city but i don't think I made it past the laser quest building (it was THE big thing when I was 15).

From the article I'm guessing I didn't miss much.

Offline Traveler

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Re: UK Schools fail pupils in RE teaching
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2013, 07:16:24 PM »
The only thing in my elementary and junior high we were forced to do (or be punished) was recite the pledge of allegiance. The only students who got out of that were exchange students. Lucky bastards.

-Nam

In elementary school I lip synched it. In junior high I stood but kept my mouth shut. In high school I sat. Eventually, other students took courage from my rebellion and sat too. I had been shy when I was younger, and felt pretty good that I had the confidence to sit down for my beliefs.
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Re: UK Schools fail pupils in RE teaching
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2013, 08:11:55 PM »
We didn't have to do it in high school. They were lucky we went class. Pretty difficult, even with deputy sheriffs on campus, to control over 6,000 students.

Students even had their own smoking areas. And to stop students from having sex in the bathrooms, they removed all the doors. It didn't stop.

-Nam
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Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: UK Schools fail pupils in RE teaching
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2013, 08:41:11 PM »
I started school in the US in 4th grade, moving from England. No one ever explained it to me, so I stood and pretended I knew it at first, then pretty much lip-synched after that, as I was still way too homesick to pledge allegiance to a country I didn't consider mine. The whole god part of it didn't even register at that point. I suppose that by now (44 years later), I've assimilated enough that I feel more American than anything else, but I've still never quite gotten to the point of saying the pledge out loud, or putting my hand over my heart for it or for the national anthem for that matter. :-\